history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

Doug Birk – A Pragmatic Historian of the Highest Order

This past Friday I had the opportunity to attend the Council for Minnesota Archaeology’s annual conference at St. Cloud State University. A large portion of the conference was dedicated to celebrating the life of famed Minnesota archaeologist Doug Birk. I say “famed” not because Doug would have liked that term … he would have hated it … but because of the awe and regard in which so many of his colleagues, friends, and acquaintances held…

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Sparking History

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Have you caught the KonMari fever yet? I have. My husband and I have been watching the new Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The KonMari Method is Kondo’s branded process of sorting and folding and arranging possessions. She has been passionate about tidying since she was a child and on the show she will often exclaim, “I love a mess!” Kondo wrote a couple of books a number…

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How Does History Serve Those Who Use Profanity?

It Started with an Email I got an interesting question by email recently. It concerned the use of profanity in a historic document … should it be used or not, specifically within a direct quote? Or, should the swear words, specifically fuck and shit, have asterisks replacing letters thusly: f*** and s***? My reply was that if the direct quote illuminates the history in some way, the swear words should be used as is, spelled…

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